Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Second General Head concerning the present State and Condition of the Gold and Silver Conis. - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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The Second General Head concerning the present State and Condition of the Gold and Silver Conis. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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The Second General Head concerning the present State and Condition of the Gold and Silver Conis.
IT cannot be thought improper before the Enterprizing of a Work of so great importance as the Re-establishment of the Moneys, and Determining a New Foot for the Course of the same, to be instructed (with as much certainty as is possible in things of this Nature) in the present State, Plight, or Condition of the Coins of this Realm; wherein one must necessarily consider several Matters of Fact, whereof some can be known or found out, and others can only be estimated or guessed at. I have endeavoured, as much as I could in a little time, to Inform and Satisfie my self in the Particulars following:
First, The several Forms or Fashions which have been used in the Fabrication of the Moneys, and which of them have been and are most likely to be most Secure against Clipping and Counterfeiting.
Secondly, The Quantities of Silver Coins Clipt and Unclipt, that may be reasonably thought or imagined to remain in the Kingdom at this day.
Thirdly, How far the Clipt Pieces now in being may be Conjectured to have been diminished in their Weight. And upon Consideration of these Articles, I have endeavoured to Compute the Loss, which (upon Re-coining the Clipt Moneys) must be born either by a Publick Aid, or by Particular Persons, or by both; and to make such other Remarks and Inferences as may be suitable to the present Occasion: In all which, my Sence and Opinion are humbly presented to your Lordships in the manner following.
As to the Particulars; All the Moneys we have now in England, both Gold and Silver, are reducible to Two Sorts; the one Stampt with the Hammer, and the other Prest with an Engine, called the Mill. The Gold or Silver of the Hammer’d Money is first Cast from the Melting Pot into long Bars, those Bars are cut with Sheers into several square Pieces of exact Weights, for Sovereigns, Angels, Crowns, Half-Crowns, Shillings, &c. Then with the Tongs and Hammer they are forged into a round shape; after which they are Blanched (that is, made White, or refulgent by Nealing or Boiling) and afterwards Stampt or Impressed with an Hammer to make them perfect Money. This Method of making Money with the Hammer (as appears in the said Red Book) was practised in the Reign of King Edward the First; who (amongst other great Atchievements of his most Prudent Government) left that of Restoring and Establishing good Moneys for the Use of his People, to recommend his Name to subsequent Generations. He sent for Mr. William de Turnemire, and his Brother Peter, and others from Marseilles, and one Friscobald, and his companions from Florence, and Employed them in the Working this kind of Money, and the Buying and Exchanging of Silver for that purpose, for which he had Thirty Furnaces at London, Eight at Canterbury (besides Three the Arch-Bishop had there) Twelve at Bristol, Twelve at York, and more in other great Towns, in all which Places they made the said Hammer’d Money of Silver, supply’d by the Kings Changers Established at the same Places, who (according to certain Rates or Prices prescribed to them) took in the Clipt, Rounded and Counterfeit Moneys to be Recoined, and Bought Gold and Silver of the Merchants, and others, to be Fabricated into New Money; at the same time Ordaining, Quod Proclametur per totum Regnum quod nulla fiat tonsura de Nova Moneta subpericulo Vitæ et Membrorum et amissionis omnium Terrarum et Tenementorum, &c. And this kind of Hammer’d Money continued through all the Reigns of Succeeding Kings and Queens, till about the Year of our Lord 1663. when by several Warrants, and Command of King Charles the Second, to wit, by One Warrant Dated the Fifth of November, 1662. One Warrant Dated the Eighth of April, 1663. And a Third Warrant Dated the Twenty fourth of December, 1663. The other sort called Milled Money was first Fabricated to be Currant in England in this manner: First, The Gold or Silver is cast out of the Melting Pot into long flat Bars, which Bars are drawn through a Mill (wrought by a Horse) to produce the just Thickness of Guineas, Half-Guineas, Crowns, Half-Crowns, Shillings, &c. Then with forcible Engines, called Cutters, which answer exactly to the respective Sizes or Dimensions of the Money to be made, the Round Pieces are cut out from the Flat Bar, shaped as aforesaid (the Residue whereof, called Sizel, is Melted again) and then every Piece is Weighed, and made to agree exactly with the intended Weight, and afterwards carried to other Engines (wrought secretly) which put the Letters upon the Edges of the larger Silver Pieces, and Mark the Edges of the rest with a Graining. The next thing is the Blanching perform’d, as above; and at last, every Piece is brought to the Press, which is called the Mill (wrought by the Strength of Men) and there Receives the Impression, which makes it perfect Milled Money.
By duly reflecting upon these different Kinds, and Considering that the Principal Offences against the Coins of the Realm, have been, and are either Clipping, Counterfeiting or Melting down, It may be proper to Remark,
First, That the Crime of Clipping has been Practised upon the Hammer’d Money in all Ages more or less, but most exorbitantly of late Years; notwithstanding the many Examples of Justice: For that the Offenders make an excessive Profit by doing a thing so easie in it self, that even Women and Children (as well as Men) are capable of the Act of Clipping or Rounding. But this Practice of Clipping has never been Exercis’d upon the Mill’d Money, and I think never can be, because of its Thickness and Edging, although no further Provision against the same should be made by Law.
Secondly, That as to Counterfeiting, the Hammer’d Money is liable thereunto, because the Tools for Resembling the same, are cheap, and easily made and procured, and the Fabrication thereof may be performed in a little Room, and with less Art; so that Smiths and other Artificers can readily attain thereunto. But the Engines for the Mill’d Money are many and very costly, not easie to be procured. The Makers or Users of such Engines cannot be conceal’d without great difficulty, and the Mill’d Money it self, being of a much Finer Print than the other, requires more Solemnity, Skill, and curious Workmanship in its Fabrication; and when it’s finished, shews better the true Colour of the Silver, to distinguish its Genuine from its Counterfeit Pieces: Which latter could never be brought to Perfection. So that Reckoning only since the said Year 1663 (without any regard to the Precedent time) I verily believe for every single Piece of Mill’d Money, that has been Counterfeited, or rather been attempted to be Resembled, there have been more than One thousand of the Hammer’d Moneys not only Counterfeited, but actually Impos’d upon the People, who have been defrauded therewith, and are now likely to suffer greatly thereby.
Thirdly, That as to the Crime of Melting down, it has plainly affected both the Hammer’d and Mill’d Moneys in their respective turns very fatally; insomuch that the Hammer’d Gold Coins which were made in the Reigns of the several Kings and Queens, from Edward the First inclusively, till the beginning of the Reign of King Charles the Second (which would amount to an incredible sum, if they were all in being) are almost totally vanished, having been Molten (as I suppose) from time to time, either to make Vessels or Utensils, or to Export for Lucre, or to Convert into Gold Coins of more Modern Stamps (in which last Case the same Metal came to be Coin’d over and over again) it being evident that we have now in England only the Pieces called Guineas, and Half-Guineas, or few other of Gold Coins, as is before observed. And I think the like must have been done with all the Hammer’d Silver Moneys that were made before the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, a very few only excepted; although the latter would amount to many Millions, if they were all now in being. As to the coins of that Queen, and her Two immediate Successors (though they make the Bulk of our present Cash) the Number of them must needs have been extreamly diminished by Melting, especially whilst they were weighty, and not much worn. But since the Mill’d Money came into Play, because of its Intrinsick Weight and Worth, I believe the Crime of Melting hath been chiefly practis’d upon that kind, which has apparently reduced it to a small Quantity. Nevertheless, when both kinds come to have the same Weight and Fineness, and to be currant at the same Price, I think the one will not be more liable to this Mischief than the other; and I hope both will be Secured against the same, when the Silver in the Coin will fetch as much as the Silver in the Bullion.
Secondly, The Quantities of Silver Coins Clipt and Unclipt that may be reasonably thought or imagined toRemain in the Kingdom at this day, cannot with any certainty be Computed. I know several conjectures have been made thereof, very different, and (as I think) without any Grounds at all, and I confess my self to have none but such as follow.
First, To Compute all the Silver Moneys Coin’d in the Three Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, James the First, and Charles the First.
Secondly, To Guess how much thereof may have been Molten or Lost.
Thirdly, To Substract the Latter from the Whole. And,
Fourthly, To the Difference to add something for the small Remainder, as well of Moneys Coined before the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, as of those Coined since the Reign of Charles the First.
Now considering how far this Sum is to be abated.
First, By the want of the Crowns, Half-Crowns, Groats, Quarter-Shillings, Half-Groats, Three-half-peny Pieces, Three-farthing Pieces, and Half-pence of Queen Elizabeth, which are wholly sunk.
Secondly, By the Diminution of the Number of the Shillings, and Six-pences of the same Queen, many of which may be supposed to be Melted down, Re-coined, or Lost.
Thirdly, By the Loss of the Crowns, Groats, Two-Pences, Pence, and Half-Pence of James the First, and Charles the First, which seem to be quite gone, and by the Melting, Re-coining, or Loss of many (if not most) of the Half-Crowns, Shillings, and Six-Pences of those Two Kings, one can hardly believe there is now in being, of the Coins of the said Three Reigns, above One Third Part, which Amounts to Five Millions Thirty six thousand Four hundred ninety two Pounds: to which if there be added Five hundred Sixty three thousand Five hundred and eight Pounds more, for the Unmelted Silver Coins of Charles the Second, James the Second, King William and Queen Mary, and for the small Quantities which remain of those which were made before the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; then the whole of the Silver Sterling Coins Clipt and Unclipt, Hoarded and Currant now in England, will be Computed at Five Millions and Six hundred thousand Pounds. And if it be Granted that Four Millions of this Sum consists of Pieces that are Diminished, some more, some less, by Clipping, then it will follow, that there remains in the Kingdom about One Million, and Six hundred thousand Pounds of Heavy Money, a great part of which is supposed to lie in Hoards, and the rest Currant chiefly in the Counties most remote from London.
Thirdly, I am to Compute, as well as I can, How farthe Clipt Pieces, now in being, may have been Diminished in their Weight. In reference to which, your Lordships may be pleased to be Reminded, That when the Earl of Rochester was Lord Treasurer, several Good Orders were Established by him for the Exchequer; One of which was, to have all the Bags of Money there Received to be Weighed. And I have Extracted from the Books of One of the Tellers, the Weight of Five hundred seventy two Bags of One hundred Pound each, which were brought to the Receipt promiscuously, in the Months of May, June and July last. Now, whereas the Weight of One hundred Pounds Sterling in Silver Moneys, according to the Standard of the Mint, ought to be Thirty two Pounds, Three Ounces, One Peny Weight, and Twenty two Grains Troy, and consequently the said Bags,See the Annext Account for this. containing Fifty seven thousand Two hundred Pounds by Tale, ought to have Weighed Two hundred twenty one thousand Four hundred and Eighteen Ounces, Sixteen Peny Weight, and Eight Grains Troy: It was found that the said Fifty seven thousand and Two hundred Pounds by Tale (comprizing some Weighty Pieces, though few) Weighed only One hundred and thirteen thousand Seven hundred and Seventy one Ounces and Five Peny Weight Troy. So that if all the said sum of Fifty seven thousand and Two hundred Pounds by Tale were good Silver, yet it was Deficient in Weight, One hundred and seven thousand six hundred fourty seven Ounces, Eleven Peny Weight and Eight Grains Troy; from whence I infer,
First, That the Moneys commonly Currant are Diminished near one Half, to wit, in a Proportion something greater than that of Ten to Twenty two.
Secondly, That going by the Medium of the said Number of Bags, and making but a very small Allowance for the Unclipt Pieces in the said Bags, and for the Difference of Money brought to the Exchequer, and that which passes amongst the Common People (the former being in most Payments the best of the Clipt Moneys) every one must be convinced, That if all the Clipt Pieces of Silver Moneys in England could be weighed together, they would be found Deficient a full Half of their Standard Weight. Again,
Thirdly, If all the Pieces in England that are more or less Clipt, do Amount by Tale to Four Millions (as is before supposed) then I infer, That by Re-Coining the same upon the Old Foot, it will make but Two Millions, and the Loss would be as much: But by Re-Coining the same upon the Foot of Six Shillings and Three Pence for the present Crown Piece, as is above proposed, the same Quantity of Clipt Money will make Two Millions, and Five hundred Thousand Pounds, and the Loss will be Fifteen hundred thousand Pounds, to be born either by Publick Aid, or by the Particulars interested in the Clipt Moneys, or by both.